IU’s Miller, North’s Crean selected on final day of MLB Draft

A Hoosier and a Cougar were each selected on the final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

The Minnesota Twins picked Indiana third baseman Luke Miller in the 31st round, while the Chicago White Sox selected Bloomington North’s Riley Crean in the 35th round on Wednesday.

Miller, a draft-eligible sophomore taken with the No. 916 overall pick, has until July 15 to decide whether to sign a contract with the Twins or return to school. Crean, the first baseball player drafted out of North, had been committed to playing baseball at IU next season. Instead, he will spend a post-graduate year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. and seek a college opportunity elsewhere.

Miller is the 90th all-time draft pick at Indiana, which has now had 20 players selected during the past five years. Senior outfielder Craig Dedelow was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the ninth round on Tuesday.

A Muncie native, Miller finished second on the team this season in batting average (.284), hits (54), doubles (11), third in steals (seven) and sixth in RBIs (23). Miller also had an IU season-best streak of having reached base in 23 consecutive games.

He was tied for third in the Big Ten in runs (52), eighth in home runs (10) and 11th in total bases (109).

Entering the season, Miller was named to the Big Ten’s Players to Watch list, while also receiving preseason all-conference honors from Perfect Game. A year ago, Miller was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American — IU’s first since right-hander Scott Effross in 2013.

Crean, who pitched and played outfield at North, was drafted as a pitcher with the No. 1,047 overall pick. Crean said he knew of “two or three” teams that were interested in selecting him during the latter rounds Wednesday.

“We were just around the computer all day, just following it,” Crean said. “I was pretty anxious, but excited when I heard my name. Looking back, all the 6 a.m. mornings are starting to pay off. It was just a lot of excitement. It was fun being around my family. It was a special moment.”

Crean, a second team honoree on The Herald-Times All-Area team, batted .325 with 10 doubles and 19 RBIs for the Cougars this spring. On the mound, he worked to a 2.21 ERA.

Crean, whose father, Tom, was dismissed as IU basketball coach in March, said he informed Indiana baseball coach Chris Lemonis over the weekend that he would not be attending IU next year as planned.

Instead, Crean will attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for a post-graduate year.

“I spoke with Coach Lemonis on Sunday and made the decision not to go to Indiana,” Crean said. “I wanted to wait until the end of my high school season. I decided in the end, as much as I wanted to play for Coach Lemonis and his staff, I wouldn’t feel comfortable going to IU.”

Although getting his players drafted is a point of pride for Lemonis, his current team wasn’t hit too hard in this year’s draft.

Junior outfielder Logan Sowers and junior utility man/closer Matt Lloyd were also draft eligible this year, but neither was selected. That will give IU two big bats — and in Lloyd’s case, a reliable bullpen arm — for next season’s roster.

Also Wednesday, Lloyd was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association Mideast All-Region Team.

7 comments

  1. Riley Crean: “I spoke with Coach Lemonis on Sunday and made the decision not to go to Indiana,” Crean said. “I wanted to wait until the end of my high school season. I decided in the end, as much as I wanted to play for Coach Lemonis and his staff, I wouldn’t feel comfortable going to IU.”

    Completely understandable given the acrimony the still exists at IU and around Bloomington about his father. And I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten the chant that was directed at him when he entered a High School basketball game. Based on that experience, I’m surprised he elected to accept IU’s scholarship in the first place. Given the contacts he can access through his uncles, his father and etc., I’m sure he’ll get more opportunities to play college baseball. Keep your head up, and best of luck Riley.

  2. Please drop the whole high school basketball game thing that was blown way out of proportion by media and those that weren’t there. It was a couple of Bloomington South kids and it ended just as fast as it started once South admins stepped in to stop it. I have heard a lot worse directed at individual kids on both sides of that rivalry.

    1. Thanks 1992. From everyone who was actually there and recanted that story said the same thing. The National Media sure ran with that one, didn’t they?

  3. The UofL NCAA infractions report has been released,loss of scholarships,and much more in the infractions report,that may have an impact on their basketball recruiting. also an recent released audit report on theU of L Foundation problems doesn’t paint a favorable picture of the University.

  4. No. 1,047 overall pick….? 35th round? Somebody that knows more about this, please explain. How is this even news? Other noteworthy picks: The Gatorade bucket was drafted in the 34th round but was unavailable for comment…?

    Anyone notice Schwarber’s batting average of late? .178 ….Ouch.
    Jodie Foster has a higher ‘Contact’ percentage .

  5. Appears the NCAA has drawn a ‘line in the sand’.

    Sex for the athlete is a no-no at Louisville.
    Phantom classes for the athlete is OK at North Carolina.

  6. Off-topic a bit….but what an interesting hire by Butler in LaVall Jordan

    One year in the Horizon League with Milwaukee….and finished 4-14(all but disastrous if not for a run in the conference tournament getting to the championship game).
    And people on here ridiculed me for believing a guy like Bill Coen could do great things at IU?
    Butler evidently believes there is more to a coach than a top position in a conference standing. They understand great coaches can remain under the radar until they find talent resources available at basketball destinations as rich as the h.s. pool available in the Hoosier state. They also understand that coaching in this basketball paradise of passion and talent can create deceptions in making a lot of very mediocre coaches appear as “resurrectors.”

    What is the ‘Butler way’? I believe it’s what Indiana U. once was. It’s unpretentiousness. It’s rooted in teaching rather than marketing and hype. It’s adulation for the team above the individual parts(so against the grain of obsessions with draft night and the “star” first mentality permeating the college hoops scene). It’s giving back to an intelligent young man who wore the colors. It’s about confidence in results blossoming from humility and opportunity rooted in a spirit of collectivity. It’s never about scapegoats or old villains. It’s about giving a guy under the radar a shot. It’s hiring in the interview rather than simply the resume.

    How did Butler steal ‘the way’ of such humble roads to success away from Indiana? I don’t want the BS tricks and the “everything hinges” slogans. I just want the answer. Who sold the soul of Indiana Basketball to a billboard company while Butler embodies what it is to be a Hoosier?

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